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Sunday, 1 November 2015

From Today's Papers - 01 Nov 2015
Chandigarh officer is IAF maintenance chief
Air Marshal Virender Mohan Khanna has been appointed Air Officer-in-Charge Maintenance (AOM) at Air Headquarters, New Delhi. He takes charge on Sunday.

Air Marshal Khanna is a resident of Chandigarh and completed his school schooling from Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. After completing BTech from NIT, Kurukshetra, he joined the IAF in 1977.

He served as Flight Engineer and flew MI-8, MI-17 and MI-26, which are based at Chandigarh. An avid sportsman, Air Marshal Khanna was part of two Indian expeditions to Antarctica where the IAF played a pivotal role in setting up Indian bases Dakshin Gangotri and Maitri.

He replaces Air Marshal Sukhchain Singh Vishisht, who retired today after 37 years of service. The outgoing Air Marshal belongs to Amritsar. Vice Admiral Karambir Singh assumed charge as the new Deputy Chief of Navy. The Admiral is a helicopter pilot and wasDirector General, Project ‘Seabird’, involved in development of the biggest naval port at Karwar, Goa. The Admiral is the “Grey Eagle” of the Navy (a term used for senior most serving Naval Aviator).
Retired paramilitary staff’s OROP stir begins tomorrow
Retired paramilitary forces personnel will begin a protest to demand “one rank, one pension” (OROP) and service conditions similar to other defence services from Monday (November 2) in Delhi.

The announcement was made by the All-India Central Paramilitary Forces Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association here today.

The demands of the paramilitary personnel being made on behalf of the AICPMF Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association are OROP, ex-servicemen status and its benefits, paramilitary service pay similar to the military service pay, exemption from the New Contributory Pension _System and CSD canteen facilities.

OROP implies that uniform pension be paid to the personnel in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement. Under the New Pension Scheme, officials have to contribute 10% of their salary and the government will also make an equal contribution for their pension. The pension is also applicable only after completing 20 years of service. The military service pay is Rs 6,000 and is given to every rank in the forces.

On being asked how will OROP work for paramilitary forces as the personnel appointed from January 1, 2004, onwards don’t receive a proper pension, RB Pathak, president of AICPMF Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association, said, “There are nine lakh former paramilitary personnel, who retired before January 1, 2004. OROP should be provided to them.”

“Our demands were not properly redressed despite of repeated requests and peaceful agitations, so we have decided to sit on a dharna at Jantar Mantar on November 2,” said PS Nair, national general secretary, AICPMF Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association, adding that an indefinite protest would be held in March.

On September 30, the National Coordination Committee (NCC) of Ex-Central Paramilitary Forces Personnel Welfare Associations, an umbrella body of such associations, stated that it would not support the agitation. The AICPMF Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association, nevertheless, decided to proceed with the agitation.

“Paramilitary forces are the first line of defence in every security operation whether it is at the border or in internal security. Since the inception of paramilitary forces, more than 5,000 personnel have laid down their lives and about 22,000 have been injured during operations. The government is giving all facilities to the defence forces and neglecting us. There is a disparity with regard to pay, allowances and pension between the Army and paramilitary, which are also the armed forces of the Union,” said Nair.
US to send special forces to Syria
Obama has long resisted sending ground troops to Syria to fight IS
The United States will deploy dozens of special operations troops to northern Syria from next month to advise opposition forces in their fight against Islamic State, a major policy shift for President Barack Obama and a step he has long resisted to avoid getting dragged into another war in the Middle East.

The planned deployment, along with the US decision this week to include Iran in diplomatic efforts to end the conflict, represents the biggest change in the United States’ Syria policy since it began a bombing campaign against Islamic State targets there in September 2014.

Announcing the measure, the White House said the troops would be on a mission to “train, advise and assist” and would number fewer than 50. Spokesman Josh Earnest declined to give details about their exact role.

The decision by Obama, deeply averse to committing troops to unpopular wars in the Middle East, would mark the first sustained US troop presence in Syria and raise the risk of American casualties, although US officials stressed the forces were not meant to engage in front-line combat. “This is a dangerous place on the globe and they are at risk, and there’s no denying that,” said Earnest, who repeatedly rejected the idea that the deployment would constitute a ground combat mission, which Obama has long rejected as a solution in Syria.

Earnest said the new mission in Syria was open ended and did not rule out the possibility of sending additional special forces troops into Iraq. Obama spoke to Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Friday about the fight against Islamic State, Earnest said.

The Obama administration is under pressure to ramp up America’s effort against Islamic State, particularly after the militant group captured the Iraqi city of Ramadi in May and following the failure of a US military program to train and arm thousands of Syrian rebels.

The deployment adds to an increasingly volatile conflict in Syria, where Russia and Iran have increased up their military support for President Bashar al-Assad.

US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said he did not rule out the possibility of further special forces deployments to Syria. — Reuters
Security challenges will grow in coming days: Doval
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval today warned that the challenges to the country’s internal security would increase in the coming days and exhorted the police officers to win this battle by winning “hearts and minds” of people.

“India cannot become a global power if the country cannot manage its internal security. It is the police who have to fight and win this battle,” he said, addressing a gathering at Sardar Vallabhbhai National Police Academy here after reviewing the passing out parade of the 67th batch of IPS officers. — TNS
Army cracks down on unrestricted use of social media by personnel - See more at:
Concerned over its personnel not adhering to regulations governing the use of social media and the consequent “breach of security and exchange of objectionable content causing embarrassment to the Army”, the Indian Army has issued a policy letter cracking down on unrestricted use of social media by officers and jawans.

The instructions say that all Army formations, stations and units must identify social media users, their specific characteristics, opinion makers and draw a social media map of the unit. All personnel are required to complete a form giving details of social networking sites in which they have an account or operate, according to the policy letter. This includes giving details of their mobile phones, SIM card numbers, IMEI numbers, operating system, details of memory card and wi-fi being used by them.
The policy letter requires Army personnel to give details like their e-mail address, membership of social networks like WhatsApp, WEChat, Facebook ID, Skype ID, Twitter ID, LinkedIn ID, Myspace and blog address, if any.

The declaration to be signed by the service personnel would include an undertaking that no official information will be passed on to social networks and that the individual will also report immediately if the veterans or their family members are engaged in any incorrect activity on social media, the policy letter instructs.

A senior officer posted in the Western Command said: “Recent incidents where internal information was put out on social media sites necessitated the policy.”
- See more at:
India’s largest Army command turns 95, wreaths laid at Vijay Smarak
KOLKATA: The Indian Army's largest command — the Eastern Command that was tasked with training Chinese troops along with Indian and British ones during the last few years of World War II celebrated its 95th Raising Day on Saturday. Raised in 1920 with its winter headquarters in Lucknow and summer headquarters in Nainital, the command moved to Fort William, Kolkata, permanently after the 1962 Indo-China conflict.

"Even before moving to Kolkata, the Eastern Command was tasked with tackling insurgency in Nagaland. Later, counter-insurgency operations started in Manipur, Assam and other states. Apart from CI operations, the command is in-charge of managing the Line of Actual Control with China in the eastern sector. Troops of the Eastern Command operate from the dense forests of the Northeast to the snow-capped mountains," a senior officer said.

On Saturday, Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi, GOC-in-C, Eastern Command and other senior officers laid wreaths at Vijay Smarak at Fort William to mark the occasion. In his address, the Eastern Army commander highlighted the importance of safeguarding the interests of the eastern and northeastern parts of the country. The command will continue to strive for unparalleled professional competence to ensure the highest standards of operational readiness, he said.

The command that was in charge of the world-famous Chindit operations against the Japanese in Myanmar (then Burma) in 1943 is now upgrading itself with modern equipment and more manpower. A mountain strike corps was recently raised for better preparedness against China. Some major achievements have also been made against militant outfits in the Northeast. Earlier this year, in retaliation to a strike against Indian troops in Manipur, special operations were carried out, resulting in neutralization of several ultras. At the same time, the command is also involved in a lot of activities to help residents of the eight northeastern states who live in remote areas.
Indian Army will raise a new Gorkha Battalion by April 2016
The historic First Gorkha Regiment (GR) of the Indian Army would raise a new battalion in April next year. It’s after a gap of almost five decades that the Gorkha Regiment would be raising new battalion. As of now First Gorkha Regiment has five battalions and the new battalion would be known as 6/1GR.

Confirming the development, Lieutenant General Ravi Thodge, Quarter Master General of Indian Army and Colonel of the First Gorkha regiment, said the new battalion would be raised by April 2016, at historic Subathu Cantonment of Himachal Pradesh.

Gen Thodge, who was at Subathu on Thursday to celebrate the bicentenary celebrations and reunion of the of First Gorkha regiments, said the new battalion would not only include the gritty Gorkhas from Nepal but also Gorkha boys from Dehradun, West Bengal, Kangra and Dharmashala areas of Himachal Pradesh.

The First Gorkha regiment was raised 200 years back in April 1815 at Subathu cantonment. Around 1,500 soldiers including retired generals, pensioners from Nepal and various part of country along with their families had gathered at the Subathu cantonment to celebrate much awaited bicentenary celebrations and reunion of regiment, which comes once in four years. The celebrations would continue till Saturday. Till then they would stay there to enjoy the gala of customary celebrations that are part of the legacy of the historic regiment.

Celebrations started with a wreath-laying ceremony on Thursday morning at the Regimental War Memorial, where floral tributes were paid to those killed in the line of duty.
A ceremonial guard reversed arms while buglers sounded the last post followed by the rouse.

Thereafter, Colonel of the regiment Lt Gen Ravi Thodge addressed the gathering and praised cordiality of Gorkha soldier and their courage and eagerness to lay down life in the line of duty.

Lt Gen H J S Sachdeva, director general, Assam Rifles and one of the senior officers of the regiment was also present on the occasion.

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